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neumu
Thursday, November 27, 2014 
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Cinematronic by Michael Snyder
Film
cinematronic
  American Splendor cinematronic
  director

Shari Springer Berman & Robert Pulcini

cast

Paul Giamatti, Hope Davis, Judah Friedlander, James Urbaniak, Harvey Pekar

year

2003

rating rating cinematronic
  Whimsical in a caustic, honest way, the bracing "American Splendor" is based on the comic-book series of the same name by depressed Everyman author Harvey Pekar. Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini took a unique approach when they teamed to write and direct their adaptation of "American Splendor," with its vignettes about Pekar's life and times, and "Our Cancer Year," an illustrated memoir written by Pekar and his wife Joyce Brabner. The film is part autobiography, with on-camera commentary by its subject: crabby, cynical, insightful Cleveland file clerk/vintage record collector/writer Pekar. But "American Splendor" also bounces from scenes with actors playing real people (e.g. underground cartoonist and Pekar mentor R. Crumb), to archival footage of Pekar (such as his guest stint on David Letterman's TV show), to cartoon segments animating bits from Pekar's comic books, to sequences of Pekar, friends and family interacting with the performers portraying them in the film. Paul Giamatti ("Man on the Moon"), darkly brilliant in his personification of Pekar, and Hope Davis ("About Schmidt"), skittish and sincere as Brabner, are wonderful to watch. So is Pekar. So is this film.  
cinematronic
cinematronic


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